14 July 2009

Weekly Geeks: Where in the World Have You Been?

Weekly Geeks

This week's Weekly Geeks asks you to tell us about your globe trotting via books. Are you a global reader? How many countries have you "visited" in your reading? What are your favorite places or cultures to read about? Can you recommend particularly good books about certain regions, countries or continents? How do you find out about books from other countries? What countries would you like to read that you haven't yet?

Use your own criteria about what you consider to be "visiting" - whether a book is written about the country or by a native or resident of the country.

I decided to interpret visiting to mean any book about or set in a particular country; but I ignored the nationality of the writer. If that country’s not there on the pages of the book, it doesn’t count. After combing through my bookshelves and reading records, I came up with this:


Looks impressive, doesn’t it? But ... some of those books are historical novels, or non-fiction history. (Can I really say I’ve been to Macedonia when what I mean is I’ve read a book about Alexander the Great?) Some visit a place only briefly, or pay only cursory attention to the setting. Some were written too long ago to give any idea of life there now. After weeding out the old, the historical, and the literary equivalents of stopovers or just passing through on a tour bus, this was the result:


And even that’s being generous ... so I’m not the best-travelled of readers. America, Britain, and Australia account for the great majority of what I read. No matter how many times I think that I must branch out into other parts of the world, I still gravitate to my beloved British history. After seeing the maps, instead of thinking of other parts of Europe to read about I’ll start hunting for books set in South America, Africa, and Asia which are all sadly lacking in my reading history ... and more novels that aren't set in the distant past!


Dorte H said...

So interesting to see your map, - and funny for a Scandinavian to see that you have not read any from Sweden. They write some of the best crime fiction in the world so of my 63 reviews this year 14 are Swedish.

Icedream said...

I also tried not to include books that just barely spent time discussing a country but I did include historical fiction. Africa and Asia seem to be the least covered areas for us geeks this week, you aren't alone. :D

Amat Libris said...

Dorte: I have now made a mental note to seek out some Swedish crime novels!

Icedream: I had noticed that ... it made me feel a bit better about my own gaps.

susan said...

I knew I wasn't well-traveled before but after reading a few posts, I'm beginning to think it's even worse.

Enjoyed your post.

Dancin Fool said...

The Motorcycle Diaries, Che Guevara takes in a lot of south america and is a brilliant read, CC Humphries, Vlad The Last Confession covers much of eastern Europe and is a recent read I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend.

I have enjoyed thinking about where my readings have taken me. Have you read The Adventures of Goodnight and Loving by Leslie Thomas? That's also a good round the world tale and one of my favourites.

Great post, bye for now!

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